Optimistic Outlook on Illinois Agriculture

Tim Mitchell reported yesterday at the News-Gazette (Champaign, Il) Online that, “Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President David Erickson is optimistic about the future of agriculture in the state.

“‘I like our prospects,’ Erickson said. ‘There has been a little bit of a downturn in commodity prices, but I think it provides us farmers an opportunity to sharpen our management skills.'”

Mr. Mitchell noted that, “Erickson said he sees lots of potential for growth in Illinois agriculture.

“‘I think our biggest advantage is that we have quite a bit of diversity,’ Erickson said. ‘We have excellent land, an opportunity for livestock growth, pretty good infrastructure and a food industry that adds value to our commodities.'”

The News-Gazette article added that, “But Erickson added that he has some concerns about the Trump administration’s effect on trade.”

In his first week in office, President Trump has indicated that the U.S. intends to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada- two of the three largest export destinations for U.S. agricultural exports.

And President Trump has also withdrawn the U.S. from negotiations within the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.  A successful TPP could have potentially increased U.S. exports by 5% (USDA estimate), while some farm groups estimated the TPP could have added an additional $4.4 billion to the U.S. ag sector annually.

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